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Sweden: Limit on Asylum Seekers Reached, Measures to Cope with Influx

(Nov. 12, 2015) On November 5, 2015, the Minister of Migration and Justice, Morgan Johansson, announced that Sweden had reached the limit on its capacity to receive asylum seekers, stating, “all countries have a limit – this is where we are now.” After utilizing all available evacuation housing, the government could not guarantee, he added, […]

Court of Justice of the European Union/Sweden: Purchase and Sale of Bitcoins Not Subject to VAT

(Nov. 5, 2015) On October 22, 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a preliminary ruling on the taxation of Bitcoins. (Case C-264/14, Skatteverket v. David Hedqvist, 2015, INFOCURIA – CASE-LAW OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE (Oct. 22, 2015) (ECJ Preliminary Ruling).) The ruling was in response to a 2014 request by the Swedish Högsta […]

Iceland: Legalization of Surrogacy Proposed

(Oct. 26, 2015) On October 13, 2015, Iceland’s Health Minister, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, announced a proposal to legalize surrogacy in Iceland. (Proposal to Legalise Surrogacy in Iceland, MBL.IS (Oct. 14, 2015).) The proposed law would permit only altruistic surrogacy agreements, not commercial ones. It would allow both men and women to solicit a surrogate to carry their child. […]

Denmark: Tougher Requirements for Acquiring Danish Citizenship Through Naturalization

(Oct. 23, 2015) On October 5, 2015, Danish politicians announced an agreement on new, tougher rules for acquiring Danish citizenship through naturalization. (Steen A. Jørgenssen, Regeringen indgår bred aftale om skrappere krav for statsborgerskab, JYLLANDSPOSTEN (Oct. 5, 2015).) The final agreement entered into force on October 15, 2015. (Udlændinge-, Integrations- og Boligministeriet [Ministry of Immigration, […]

Iceland/European Union: Reduction in Import Duties, Increase in Quotas for Agricultural Products

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 17, 2015, Iceland’s government and the European Union agreed on new terms for agricultural trade. (Press Release, EU and Iceland Strike Deal to Protect Geographical Indications and Enhance Trade for Agricultural and Food Products (Sept. 18, 2015) EUROPA.) Under the new agreement, Iceland will reduce the tariffs on agricultural products […]

Denmark: Dual Citizenship Recognized

(Oct. 16, 2015) On September 1, 2015, with the entry into force of amendments to the Act on Danish Citizenship, Denmark started recognizing dual citizenship. (Lov om ændring af lov om dansk indfødsret, LOV nr 1496 af 23/12/2014 [Act on Amendments to the Act on Danish Citizenship, Law No. 1496, Dec. 23, 2014], RESINFORMATION.DK.) The […]

Finland: Tax on Chocolate and Sweets to Be Eliminated 2017

(Oct. 7, 2015) On September 29, 2015, a Finnish Financial Parliamentary Committee decided to end the tax on sweets that has been in force since 2011. The decision will take effect on January 1, 2017. (Press Release, Statsrådet [Finnish government], Punktskatten på sötsaker och glass slopas 2017 [Excise Duty on Sweets and Ice Cream Will […]

Sweden: Supreme Court Turns to Electronic Communication

(Sept. 8, 2015) On August 25, 2015, the Swedish Supreme Court announced that as of August 31, 2015, it has turned to e-mail as its main means of communication. (Press Release, Ökad användning av e-post vid Högsta domstolen, Högsta Domstolen [Supreme Court] website (Aug. 25, 2015), NOTISUM.) The new policy means that all communication between […]

Ireland: Gender Recognition Bill Passed

(July 31, 2015) On July 15, 2015, the Gender Recognition Bill 2014 was passed by the Oireachtas (Irish legislature). (Gender Recognition Bill 2014, No. 116/2014, HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS.) The bill was signed into law by the President of Ireland on July 22. (2015 Legislation, PRESIDENT OF IRELAND.) The bill enables transgender people to obtain […]

Iceland: Easing of Capital Controls and Banking Regulations

(July 16, 2015) On July 3, 2015, the Icelandic Parliament (Althingi) passed legislation (The Act on a Stability Levy) to ease capital controls and bank regulation in the country, provided certain conditions are met. The regulations were set in place following the 2008 banking crash in the country. (Press Release, Legislation on Stability Levy Adopted […]